Tag Archives: Sustainability

emerald treasures in the evening


The following pattern is simple and fun for beginners…

* Fine ultra wire – I used chartreuse this time
* Soft feathers – one per fly
* Tying thread – I used 8/0 Uni thread in olive
* Hook – I used a size 14 long shank for damselfly nymph proportions

For the soft feathers:

I picked these up under some trees where the ring necked parakeets spend most of their time...

I picked these up under some trees where the ring necked parakeets spend most of their time…

All you need now is a hook, some chartreuse ultra wire and some olive green tying thread. I complete the process with a dab of superglue on the head. Here’s how it went:

easy does it! take care on the hackles... small feathers call for dexterity and a light touch.

easy does it! take care on the hackles… small feathers call for dexterity and a light touch.

delicate shadows from soft hackles play in the late evening sunlight...

delicate shadows from soft hackles play in the late evening sunlight…

I strive to create symmetry and uniformity even though each one is unique…

Verdant green, yet another nod to the ring necked parakeets... how well will they mimic damsel fly larvae?

Verdant green, yet another nod to the ring necked parakeets… how well will they mimic damsel fly larvae?

The simple, soft hackled wet fly with no tail is often called a spider pattern. Have a go tying your own using feathers collected from the grounds surrounding your favourite lake or stream.

Good luck!

Thank you for reading.

nature really is our best friend – bees and flowers in the city


When I wrote my first blogpost (appreciation and sharing) I wrote the following:

“Conservation and appreciation of Nature is the primary focus of my blog – sustainable use of the outdoors with a view to unearth and hopefully master long forgotten traditions, celebrating experiences and, through teaching others, paving the way for new pathways into the future.”

It seems fitting to post something that brings all these elements to the fore amongst the hustle and bustle of London’s Sloane Square. I salute people who think in terms of flower superhighways and who take the trouble to hand out seeds that will help build them…

respect to J. Crew for taking the initiative and building walls of flowering plants on their Sloane Square outlet... If you are in London, go and get some of their seeds and plant them this summer...

respect to J. Crew for taking the initiative and building walls of flowering plants on their Sloane Square outlet… If you are in London, go and get some of their seeds and plant them this summer… Photo – worklondonstyle http://worklondonstyle.com

I thank my Darling Wife for her infinite patience and support of metiefly over the last 15 months. As we sip our Twinings English Breakfast, I wish to share a strong message on behalf of fauna and flora all over the world… Thank you J.Crew for this fabulous project!

a picture tells a thousand words... What can you do to make your own little corner of the universe a better place for all living things?

a picture tells a thousand words… what can you do to make your own little corner of the universe a better place for all living things?

Lastly, on my 100th blogpost, I wish thank you, my plethora of very special readers for joining me in my little adventure… I look forward to your next visit.

27 July update... Fantastic to see the flowers opening, just in time to help the bees through the late stages of summer and into autumn. Please share your results if you also grew some this year!

27 July update… Fantastic to see the flowers opening, just in time to help the bees through the late stages of summer and into autumn. Please share your results if you also grew some this year!

August update - a picture tells a thousand words!

August update – a picture tells a thousand words!

celebrating Nature’s palette… Mr & Mrs Mallard


I just love this picture… I read somewhere that globally, Mallards are the most widespread species of duck. They always make me smile when I see them.

striking a pose... completely at ease with my proximity these two were enjoying Spring in the Serpentine in Hyde Park

striking a pose… completely at ease with my proximity these two were enjoying Spring in the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Photo – metiefly

Thank you for visiting, as always.

all aboard for Abaco!


This little pocket of flies is destined for the Bahamas… What stories will they conjure up in time?

Rolling Harbour, Abaco... All will be revealed in time!

Rolling Harbour, Abaco… All will be revealed in time!


Thanks in advance to RH – I will keep everyone posted in due course!

Looking forward to some beautiful pictures of Bonefish…

Thank you for reading, please visit again soon.

The ultimate Test – salmon instead of grayling? part one


Hallowed grounds - I heard this described as one of fly fishing's sacred places...

Hallowed grounds – I heard this described as one of fly fishing’s sacred places…

The knowledge I gained through personal experience yesterday is beyond normal measurable value: no amount of preparation, research and optimistic dreaming could predict what unfolded on the famous ginger beer beat… the first cast of the day produced a spritely rainbow for my host and after his third fish in less than fifteen minutes, I graciously accepted his offer of an identical fly… Two casts later I caught and released a beautiful brownie – fit as a fiddle and exquisite to look at in close up. A few more casts with my host’s fly, then we moved on and I switched to a size 16 gold head deer hair nymph – eager to conjure up my first ever grayling take. No bites!

First cast of the day - a spritely rainbow of about 2lbs... Jimmy went on to catch and release 14 fish despite horizontal raindrops and 22mph winds! The island in the foreground was completely submerged when we returned in the evening and all the rainfall in the test valley caught up with us.

First cast of the day – a spritely rainbow of about 2lbs… This would prove to be the smallest: Jimmy went on to catch and release 14 fish despite horizontal raindrops and 22mph winds! The island in the foreground was completely submerged when we returned in the evening and all the rainfall in the test valley caught up with us.

Salmo trutta in pristine condition - well done Mr B!

Salmo trutta in pristine condition – well done Mr B!

my first fish of the Test...

my first fish of the Test…

Fish moved in a way that I have not seen in a wild river…  Chalkstream waters renowned worldwide for their clarity seemed to magnify size and multiply numbers… Could they really be this big?

When we lost count of how many my fishing partner had landed (dare I mention his double figure sea trout that was too large for the net – freeing itself before we could come up with a suitable plan?), we took a stroll to the end of the beat so I could explore the whole territory and absorb one of fly fishing’s most sacred places…

I saw no grayling in the likely spots despite half an hour of drifting my tiny fly through riffles and channels, wondering what the grayling take would feel like. Suddenly my education ramped up a notch: I could only gawk as the “sandbar” that I had been using as a reference point in the middle of the river repositioned itself like a feeding trout does every now and then. My mouth dried and my pulse thumped – this shadow was the size of my leg. Memories of my ‘giant'(1.1kg) rainbow trout from the headwaters of the Nyangombe River flooded back to me: Back then, after an hour of trying every pattern I had, I eventually caught it on a diminutive ‘Bruce’s Bug’ tied by my friend Gareth… My reverie was broken by lactic acid burning in my casting shoulder, suggesting that I had drifted my fly past this leviathan enough times to prove that it was not going to happen soon!

I could not believe the size of the fish I saw slightly upstream of this picture... It only registered as a fish in my brain when the "sandbar"moved like a feeding fish.

I could not believe the size of the fish I saw slightly upstream of this picture… It only registered as a fish in my brain when the “sandbar”moved like a feeding fish.

Thank you for reading – the story continues in part two…

Two Tales in the city…


I have enjoyed dipping into Talesbytheriverbank (http://talesbytheriverbank.wordpress.com) for some time now, having originally connected online exchanging comments about Sea Trout and other Salmonids in the River Thames. Yesterday we finally got to meet and despite what felt like an arctic breeze, we shared an afternoon of easy going conversation and fishing…

Mr Tales and Young Tales - what a pleasure meeting like minded gentlemen who braved the elements and rose to the challenge of the day's fishing admirably. Young Tales has a knack for predicting the future and Judging by how adept he is with a fly rod, I foresee a lifetime of exploration and mastery of everything that fly fishing has to offer

Mr Tales and Young Tales – what a pleasure meeting like minded gentlemen who braved the elements and rose to the challenge of the day’s fishing admirably!

Our mission was to connect Young Tales with one of Syon’s finest and although it took a lot longer than expected after the wind came up, we eventually sought refuge from the breeze and Mr Tales tied on the winning formula. Hardly any movement on the surface meant many probing casts and much patience endured by Young Tales – it is wonderful to see how they have learnt to operate as a team:

Young Tales has a knack for predicting the future and Judging by how adept he is with a fly rod, I foresee a lifetime of exploration and mastery of everything that fly fishing has to offer...

Young Tales has a knack for predicting the future and Judging by how adept he is with a fly rod, I foresee a lifetime of exploration and mastery of everything that fly fishing has to offer…

We sent a scout up ahead to scan for movement:

Returning to report back that he has a feeling we are about to catch something - predicting the future (no pressure Dad!)

Returning to report back that he has a feeling we are about to catch something – (no pressure Dad!)

Mr Tales had mentally marked a few spots where a fish had moved and skillfully returned his fly several times before a beautiful rainbow finally connected… Seeing Young Tales spring into action and his remarkable calm despite his obvious excitement was a real joy:

Playing a 2.5lb trout is an adrenalin rush - this young man was having the time of his life!

Playing a 2.5lb trout is an adrenalin rush – this young man was having the time of his life!

Father and son did a great job landing their catch and ensuring Young Tales’s dinner (apparently to be ably assisted by the cats!)

Told you so! Young Tales had predicted this moment and then worked towards it all afternoon - well done!

Told you so! Young Tales predicted this moment and then worked hard towards it all afternoon – well done!

All in all, a day well spent in the great outdoors, passing on knowledge and adventure to the next generation. We look forward to future outings if and when our crazy schedules allow it.

This Gentleman's love of fishing is easily apparent, and his encyclopaedic knowledge of antique tackle, piscatorial current affairs makes for fantastic conversations... Http://talesbytheriverbank.wordpress.com

This Gentleman’s love of fishing is easily apparent, and his encyclopaedic knowledge of antique tackle, different species and piscatorial current affairs makes for fantastic conversations… http://talesbytheriverbank.wordpress.com

Thank you for reading, please return again soon!

making hay…


Today was split in two by an icy wind from the North shortly after lunchtime… This blog entry is about the first half – I had arranged to meet some special people at the lake and made the most of the sunshine before they arrived.

A beautiful creature welcomed me to the lake and I was honoured to be allowed this close:

goldeneye - such a vivid colour and so clear!

goldeneye – such a vivid colour and so clear!

I wandered only a short way along the bank and paused to capture the ambience…

I took this picture in an endeavour to convey the water clarity - what is that weird line?

I took this picture in an endeavour to convey the water clarity – what is that weird line?

The answer was right above me, in a perfect sky:

ah - now that makes sense!

ah – now that makes sense!

I am fascinated by water… Here it waits patiently for the sunshine to give it a lift:

Such is the mystery of the Universe that when conditions are right, the very element that can be used to extinguish a fire out, can also be used to make it...

Such is the mystery of the Universe that when conditions are right, the very element that can be used to extinguish a fire, can also be used to make it… So much depends on how energy is focused!

I made the most of the sunlight to get a photo opportunity that describes the season:

amazing to think that only a few months ago this was a sugar and oxygen factory... now it is a work of art

amazing to think that only a few months ago this was a sugar and oxygen factory… now it is a work of art

Today’s catch put a serious bend in my rod!

When is the next time you go fishing? Tight lines - metiefly

When is the next time you go fishing? Tight lines – metiefly

I was grateful to have caught my fish early on, so I could spend some quality time with two people that I had been looking forward to meeting for a while…

Thank you for reading, I look forward to your next visit